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Moore tornado leads schools to look at tornado plans


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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 5/21/2013 6:17 pm Published: 5/21/2013 5:59 pm


The state medical examiner's office says 24 people were killed in Moore, including nine children.

Seven of those children were found in the debris of an elementary school.

In Tulsa, school districts are re-evaluating their tornado plans.

Tulsa Public Schools says the tragedy in Shawnee and Moore caused the district to look at any adjustments that need to be made.

The threat of a tornado is never far from Bob Roberts' mind. Roberts is the emergency management director for TPS.

"Obviously after any major event, there are lessons to be learned," said Roberts.

Roberts said the devastation in Shawnee and Moore led him to ask tough questions.

"Where did they go and what were those parameters of those hallways that they were in? Did they have doors at both ends and were they secure areas?"

Rhonda Hinrichs has two children in TPS.

Although she's confident in the district's emergency plan, she says there is always room for improvement.

"I do think that some of our structures may need to be looked at to see if we could possibly benefit from doing a safe room," she said.

She said she's thought a lot about where her own children might go if tornadoes were to hit here.

"I think we need to make that a priority. We have kind of accepted this as a risk and is that a risk we need to take? I personally don't want to take that kind of risk with my kids," she added.

The district said it will not let kids go home during inclement weather.

If children are already on a bus, drivers are trained to look for the nearest sturdy building and get the kids off the bus.

"If we have threatening weather coming in, then we will push out updates to the principals and administrators," said Roberts.

Every single building in TPS has a specific plan for that building. There are also instruction books in classrooms for teachers so they know what to do with the children if there is ever a tornado here.


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